Thursday, 05. March 2015
26. 03. 12. - 16:00
Austria is set to reopen the investigation into the kidnapping of child kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch after her father launched a civil case against the man he says was involved in the abduction.
Natasha's father Ludwig Koch filed civil charges at the start of this month (8 March) for damages against the best friend of his daughter's kidnapper.
He took the unprecedented step of filing a civil case over the kidnapping because there was now a "mountain" of evidence against Ernst Holzapfel – the best friend of Wolfgang Priklopil - who snatched Natascha Kampusch off the streets when she was 10 and kept her in a cellar for eight years before she escaped in 2006.
The civil case six years after Natascha escaped was filed at the Vienna Civil Court (Landesgericht für Zivilrechtssachen Wien) demanding damages from Holzapfel, the closest and probably only friend of Wolfgang Prikopil.
Mr Koch is represented by the Vienna-based legal team of Dr Alfred Boran, Mag Dietmar Heck and Dr Kristina Venturini-Köck, who have supported him throughout the time since his daughter was released.
Lawyer Dietmar Heck said: "After going through the vast amount of material that has come to light one has to come to the conclusion, that Mr Koch has a good chance to prove Mr Holzapfel's involvement. We believe there is sufficient evidence to prove that Mr Holzapfel at the very least knew that his best friend, with whom he reportedly worked in the garden of his house in Strasshof with an excavator just before the kidnapping, was holding Natascha against her will - and did absolutely nothing to end her ordeal. By failing to act he extended the suffering of Natascha and her parents for more than 8 years. Mr Koch spent almost all his time and the little money he had searching in vain for his daughter."
The legal case on paper is about compensation for the suffering but Mr Koch stressed he did not care about the money - he said he did not believe justice had been done, he wanted to have the evidence tested in a court of law. He said he hoped the answers would bring him and his daughter closure on the subject - and a chance to move on.
He said: "I heard today that the justice ministry is planning to investigate the case again. However, given the track record so far, I intend to press ahead with the civil case.
"Her freedom has brought no release for any of us, far from it, there are more unanswered questions now than there were in 2006 and as Natascha's father I am now no longer prepared to allow this situation to go on.
"Whatever the outcome of that case one thing is already certain - whatever the circumstances, my daughter was and is the biggest victim. She should not be criticised for any of her statements or her actions made since her release. We hope this case will bring her, and us, final closure."
The government ordered an investigative committee to look at the case again which is set to hear the last witnesses this week, but the committee chairman Werner Amon has now announced in advance that he shares the view that there was not just a single kidnapper - and that others were involved.
Austrian media said that although the final report has not been handed over the new investigation was now a foregone conclusion after a statement from Amon.
He said: "Anybody who was hoping that our report would be the final chapter will be disappointed. That is something I can categorically rule out."
He said that the only question was how, adding: "We will either recommend that prosecutors look at it again or get new experts in to re-evaluate the evidence - but it will not now be dropped. There is a huge list of points that have just not been properly looked at."
He also claimed that he had not been given all of the evidence in the case.
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Mayor Lifts Up Teenage Girls Skirt On Stage|
|Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes|
|Tiger Cub Leaps To Its Death During Firework Show|
|Sun Worshipping Adrenaline Junkie Gets High-Rise Kick|
|Chickens Keep Their Heads After Chinese New Year Festival|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.